Research Article

H3K27me3 may be associated with Oct4 and Sox2 in mouse preimplantation embryos

Published: December 04, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (4) : 10121-10129 DOI: 10.4238/2014.December.4.6

Abstract

As a core member of polycomb repressive complex 2, the transcription and enzyme activity of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) is directly involved in the trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3. In this study, the fluorescence intensity of H3K27me3 in mouse in vivo morulae and blastocysts was compared by indirect immunofluorescence staining. We found that demethylation of H3K27me3 occurred during the blastocyst stage. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to investigate Ezh2 expression in oocytes and in preimplantation embryos. Ezh2 expression peaked during the zygote stage and gradually decreased from the 2-cell stage, exhibiting an inverse pattern when compared with Oct4 and Sox2 mRNA in mouse preimplantation embryos. To understand the role of development-related genes on the transcription of mouse Ezh2, a promoter assay was performed in NIH/3T3 cells. Ezh2 expression was markedly suppressed by Oct4 and Sox2 alone in a dose-dependent manner, while Ezh2 promoter activity in co-transfection with Nanog, Klf-4, and c-Myc groups showed no significant change as compared with the control. Our data suggest that the demethylation of H3K27me3 is caused by the degressive expression and activity of Ezh2 in blastocysts, leading to increased expression of developmentally important transcription factors. We also observed negative effects of Oct4 and Sox2 on the transcription of Ezh2 and identified Oct4 and Sox2 as novel negative regulators of Ezh2 at the post-translation level in a mouse preimplantation embryo.

As a core member of polycomb repressive complex 2, the transcription and enzyme activity of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) is directly involved in the trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3. In this study, the fluorescence intensity of H3K27me3 in mouse in vivo morulae and blastocysts was compared by indirect immunofluorescence staining. We found that demethylation of H3K27me3 occurred during the blastocyst stage. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to investigate Ezh2 expression in oocytes and in preimplantation embryos. Ezh2 expression peaked during the zygote stage and gradually decreased from the 2-cell stage, exhibiting an inverse pattern when compared with Oct4 and Sox2 mRNA in mouse preimplantation embryos. To understand the role of development-related genes on the transcription of mouse Ezh2, a promoter assay was performed in NIH/3T3 cells. Ezh2 expression was markedly suppressed by Oct4 and Sox2 alone in a dose-dependent manner, while Ezh2 promoter activity in co-transfection with Nanog, Klf-4, and c-Myc groups showed no significant change as compared with the control. Our data suggest that the demethylation of H3K27me3 is caused by the degressive expression and activity of Ezh2 in blastocysts, leading to increased expression of developmentally important transcription factors. We also observed negative effects of Oct4 and Sox2 on the transcription of Ezh2 and identified Oct4 and Sox2 as novel negative regulators of Ezh2 at the post-translation level in a mouse preimplantation embryo.